Category Archives: general

Sanna Kopra & Matti Nojonen for HS

Our team member Sanna Kopra together with Matti Nojonen, Professor of Chinese Culture and Society, University of Lapland, wrote a guest column in the Helsingin Sanomat “Uuden Silkkitien investoinnit vesittävät Kiinan ilmastotavoitteet” (Investments in the new Silk Road will water down China’s climate goals). In the column, Kopra and Nojonen argue, that in order to become the climate leader that China wants to be, its Silk Road project should break away from the fossil economy.

Read the full column in Finnish online.

Russian new giant icebreaker

Aamulehti published an article “Jättiläismäinen jäänmurtaja ei varmista vain arktista väylää, vaan myös Putinin valtaa – väistynyt pääministeri ehti vielä päättää maailman suurimman megajäänmurtajan rahoituksesta” (Giant icebreaker not only secures Arctic passage but also Putin’s power – the retired prime minister has yet to decide on funding for the world’s largest mega-icebreaker).

Lider icebreaker, which is larger than the Baltic Sea cruisers, should secure the North Sea Passage for large vessels all year round. According to the researcher, additional power is also needed for the use of power: Russia, and its leadership in particular, is heavily dependent on the fossil resources of the Arctic.

Professor Tynkkynen was approached for the comments:

Extra power is needed in the Arctic not just to break the ice. According to the investigator, Lider also secures passages in President Vladimir Putin’s “ocean”.

– The economic and political power of the Putin regime is intertwined with Arctic oil and gas. It is their own assurance, says Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen, Assistant Professor of Russian Environmental Policy at the University of Helsinki.

He points out that 70 to 80 percent of the country’s known oil and gas reserves are located in the Arctic. Due to the climate crisis, there is a growing opportunity to exploit them all the time.

You can read more about Russian Arctic plans and aspirations in this online article.

Al Gore’s climate leadership training in Minneapolis

Our doctoral candidate Karoliina Hurri was selected to participate in the Al Gore’s climate leadership training, which is organised from 2nd to 4th of August in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Training includes five key themes about just transition to clean energy which are discussed in workshops and panel discussions. At Climate Reality Leadership Corps trainings, individuals spend three days working with former Vice President Al Gore and world-renowned scientists and communicators learning about the climate crisis and its solutions. The training objective is to gain the skills, knowledge, and network to shape public opinion, influence policy, and inspire your community to act at this critical time.

The themes are:

1.    Wetter, Warmer, and More Humid – A Changing Midwestern Climate

2.    Agriculture and Climate – The Problem and the Solution

3.       Homegrown Climate Solutions Powering the Midwestern Clean Energy Economy

4.       Realizing Climate Justice in Historically Marginalized Communities

5.       Climate Leadership from the Bottom Up

More details can be found on project’s page

Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen on Russian landfill protests and Ivan Golunov’s arrest

Professor Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen participated yesterday in the Yle’s A-studio programme, where the topic of the discussion was “Venäjän kaatopaikkaprotestit haastavat poliittista järjestelmää” (Russian landfill protests challenge the political system).

Professor Tynkkynen and other guests – correspondent Marjo Näkki and secretary of the Finnish Section of Reporters without borders Jarmo Koponen, discussed, first, the arrest of Ivan Golunov, a prominent Russian journalist investigating and exposing corruption among Moscow officials, who wrote, among other things, about waste management problems in the region.

The central theme of the programme was Russian corruption in waste management, landfill crisis and the protests around it in Moscow and Arkhangelsk regions.

The topic was further developed in Yle’s article “Venäjän kaatopaikkaprotestit haastavat poliittista järjestelmää yhä suoremmin – mielenilmaukset ovat levinneet jo Putinin tukialueille” (Russian landfill protests increasingly challenge the political system – protests have spread to Putin’s strongholds).

Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen, Associate Professor in Russian Environmental Studies, Aleksanteri Institute, estimates that the protests are already threatening the establishment.

– The demonstrations in Moscow and Arkhangelsk are not just local protests, but through them they protest against the whole system. The fact that the whole system is based on the oligarchy. <…>

Environmental demonstrations are of particular interest because they had their own role in the break-up of the Soviet Union, reminds Associate Professor Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen. <….> In the early 1990s, environmental issues were one of the key themes of demonstrations, especially in the Baltic countries.

Like many other issues in Russia, the waste problem is facilitated by the corruption. According to Professor Tynkkynen,

<.. the waste business in Russia is a mafia corrupt activity, where the waste business is run by business conglomerates connected to local administration. They get good income from the municipalities but do not follow any standards. These practices are difficult to break even if Putin says something.

Full version of the article is available online.

STN:n luonnonvaraseminaari

Strategic Research Council‘s seminar on natural resources is taking place today in Helsinki, and Sakari Höysniemi from the Winland project is taking part in it. The seminar’s title is “Veden, ruoan ja energian globaali kysyntä ja sen merkitys Suomelle” (Global demand for water, food and energy and its importance for Finland).

The presentation made by Winland for the seminar can be downloaded here.